New mamas are the epitome of the nervous parent. Often the church nursery is the first place where they release their precious little one to someone else. They are torn between desperately wanting to go be a grown up and guilt of being away from their little one. By recognizing their apprehension, we have the opportunity in the church nursery to address the questions that are weighing on new mothers’ minds.
1. Can I trust these workers? Mamas probably won’t ask this out loud. But they have heard enough horror stories, and dreamed up some of their own. Make your security and background screening policies extremely clear and look for opportunities to share this with parents. Put your friendliest, very best workers in the newborn nursery so that they can make a great first impression on Mom.
2. What if my baby cries? Moms worry about not being there if their little one is upset, but they also worry about their child being a burden by being upset. On top of that, they worry how their baby will be handled when she cries. Communicate ahead of time with parents about how you handle communicating with them when baby gets upset. It might be helpful to ask for their preferences.
4. Will my baby get the attention he/she needs? Too many babies in a room will make a mama turn around and head the other way. Work hard to keep your adult to baby ratios as low as possible. Train volunteers to give immediate attention to the baby when he enters the room.
5. Will my baby get germs? Mamas live in fear of their baby getting sick. It is so important that you have stringent cleaning routines and methods. Make sure your baby room looks, smells, and is sanitized.
6. Will my baby be safe? Again, appearance speaks loudly to new parents. First make sure that you have a reliable security system for checking children in and out. Make sure that Mom knows that no one else can pick up her child. Make sure equipment is up-to-date. If anything looks old or unsafe, get rid of it immediately. Invite a young mom to walk through and give you her impressions.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. You can leave your comments below. Feel free to add to this list or let us know your experience of bringing a new baby to the church nursery.